Methods of Knowledge Organization (KO)
Methods of KO may be applied to different kinds of systems and processes and may, among other things, involve:
Methods for designing knowledge organization systems (KOS)
Methods for evaluating KOS
Methods for evaluating KO processes (including the determination of errors in indexing and the quality of indexing)
Research methods for studying knowledge organizing systems and processes.
Different approaches to KO (e.g. traditional library classification, facet analysis, bibliometric KO, statistical KO and domain analysis) implies different (although overlapping) kinds of methods, just as different kinds of epistemological norms imply different methodologies.
Hulme (1911) established the principle of literary warrant: That classes (and relations) in classification systems shall be decided on the (empirical) basis of the literature to be classified. This principle may of course also be used for evaluating KOS: One may evaluate whether classes and relations in actual systems are based on literary warrant. Such investigations will tend towards hermeneutics: interpreting what the literature actually says in relation to the classification.
The Cranfield experiments from the 1950ties (Cleverdon et al., 1966) established an empiricist/positivist tradition in KO. They introduced empirical measures (recall and precision) in evaluating KOS.
Cleverdon, C.W., Mills, J. & Keen, E. M. (1966).
Factors Determining the Performance of Indexing Systems.
Vol. 1-2. Cranfield: College of Aeronautics.
Hulme, E. W. (1911a). Principles of Book Classification: Introduction. Library Association Record, 1911; 13: 354-358.
Hulme, E. W. (1911b). Principles of Book Classification: Chapter II - Principles of Division in Book Classification. Library Association Record, 1911; 13: 389-394.
Hulme, E. W. (1911c). Principles of Book Classification: Chapter III - On the Definition of Class Headings, and the Natural Limit to the Extension of Book Classification. Library Association Record, 1911; 13: 444-449.
Last edited: 16-09-2006